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Sports >  WSU basketball

Washington State post Mouhamed Gueye withdraws from NBA draft, remains in transfer portal

UPDATED: Wed., June 1, 2022

Washington State forward Mouhamed Gueye dunks in front of Oregon State forward Ahmad Rand during a Pac-12 game Feb. 28 in Corvallis, Oregon. Gueye withdrew from the NBA draft pool Wednesday afternoon but is still in the NCAA’s transfer portal.  (Associated Press)
Washington State forward Mouhamed Gueye dunks in front of Oregon State forward Ahmad Rand during a Pac-12 game Feb. 28 in Corvallis, Oregon. Gueye withdrew from the NBA draft pool Wednesday afternoon but is still in the NCAA’s transfer portal. (Associated Press)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – Mouhamed Gueye is reportedly planning to play at least one more collegiate season. Washington State fans are crossing their fingers, hoping he chooses the Cougars again.

Gueye, a standout in WSU’s frontcourt as a true freshman last season, withdrew from the NBA draft pool Wednesday afternoon, according to multiple reports. Jon Rothstein, an NCAA hoops insider for CBS, affirmed over Twitter that Gueye “will return to college” – WSU, or perhaps elsewhere.

Shortly after declaring for the NBA draft April 25, Gueye entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal, where it remains. Coming off one of the most impressive rookie seasons in Cougar history, the 6-foot-11 native of Senegal is a coveted portal player who will presumably spend the coming weeks entertaining offers from high-tier NCAA suitors.

But the Cougars like their odds in their second recruiting battle for Gueye – they beat out Kansas last year for his signature. Coach Kyle Smith, in a recent interview with KREM News, said he expected Gueye to either remain in the NBA draft pool or come back to WSU. And Gueye told 247Sports last month that he is “definitely” considering a return to WSU.

“I learned a lot (at WSU),” he told a media gathering in Portland earlier this week after a workout with the Trail Blazers. “Kyle Smith taught me the basics, honestly – defense, the hustle stuff. … They helped me grow a lot, and I grew as a person and as a player.”

The former four-star prospect (247Sports) out of Prolific Prep – an elite basketball academy in Napa, California – became the third-highest-rated recruit in WSU program history when he signed with the Cougars in May 2021. A dynamic defender with a developing scoring touch, Gueye lived up to his billing. He earned an All-Pac-12 freshman team nod after starting 33 games and averaging 7.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and just under one block per game for the 22-win Cougars.

Gueye, still relatively new to the sport, declared for the draft in search of feedback from pro teams. He received an invite to the G League combine and had mixed results at the event, staged in Chicago in mid-May, posting averages of 6.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and one steal while shooting 4 of 13 (2 of 7 on 3-pointers) in two scrimmages.

“I want to do everything – passing, rebounding, running the floor,” Gueye said after his exercise in Portland.

“Just experience and enjoy the process,” he added when asked what he was hoping to get out of his off-season. “I’m a freshman in college, so I’m just trying to enjoy everything, every moment, because I know I’m not going to do this twice.”

If Gueye chooses WSU again, the Cougars’ frontcourt would be well stocked with talent, despite the loss of Efe Abogidi, who is reportedly expected to sign a G League contract. WSU added a four-star 7-foot freshman this off-season in Adrame Diongue, also a Senegal native, and center Dishon Jackson is set to return for his junior year.

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